How Can the Finance Sector Best Use its Leverage for Human Rights?

07 May 2019

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Export Credit Agencies underwrite or finance about $430 billion worth of business activities abroad, considerably more than all other forms of government-backed finance.

For OECD member countries, the social and environmental responsibilities of such lending are set out by the "common approaches" based on the International Finance Corporation's 2011 Performance Standards. Some ECAs have gone further by considering also how the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights can be applied, in particular to fill gaps - such as business sectors that sit outside the central logic of the Performance Standards (which were designed mainly with major physical projects and infrastructure in mind).

The Canadian ECA is one of the largest of its kind with around 1,200 employees. On 6 May 2019, IHRB's CEO John Morrison was invited to address the Canadian ECA's new CEO, Chair, and members of the its Corporate Social Responsibility Advisory Council on the issue of "leverage".

Read the full remarks here.

Note: John Morrison is an independent member of the Advisory Council for the UK Government's Export Credit Agency (UK Export Finance) and also plays a similar role for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

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